Edison senior wide receiver Drew Baldwin, along with four other area football players received a $1,000 scholarship from the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame at a celebration dinner on April 6, at Army-Navy Country Club in Arlington.
West Potomac senior wide receiver Andrew Swinson, St. Albans running back Buddy Bardenwerper, Yorktown offensive lineman Chris Dola (Middlebury), Sherwood running back Nick Koutsos and Baldwin (Yale) were awarded scholarships.
In addition, Bishop O’Connell offensive lineman Matt Dillon (Army), Hylton offensive lineman Ryan Martinez (Navy) and Bishop Ireton running back/linebacker Andrew Rodriguez (Army) were also honored, but not given scholarships because they’ve already been extended full grant-in-aids.
Rodriguez was selected as the overall winner. At 6-foot-3 and 220 pounds, Rodriguez gained 563 yards on 93 carries, including a team-high 6.1 yards per carry average. He shared time at tight end, where he gained a team-high 547 receiving yards. He also led the team by scoring six receiving touchdowns and four rushing touchdowns.
Meanwhile, Baldwin was a kick returner, wide receiver and defensive back for the Eagles, which finished as the Northern Region Div. 5 runner-up. He was a first-team All-District nominee at four different positions: wide receiver, defensive back, kick returner and utility. Baldwin was named to the All-Northern Region first team for his work as a defensive back and to the second team as a receiver.
As a junior and senior, Baldwin accounted for 174 tackles, 10 interceptions, two fumbles forced and two fumble recoveries. Offensively he had 81 receptions for 1,082 yards and six touchdowns in that span. He led the Eagles in catches and receiving yards as a senior. Baldwin also had a 50-yard punt-return touchdown against Falls Church.
Baldwin ultimately chose Yale University over Brown and is scheduled to move to New Haven, Conn., in mid-July to begin preparation for both the fall semester and season.
At the dinner, 16 athletes were recognized, with five receiving scholarships. University of Richmond football coach Mike London gave the keynote address.
Swinson was a three-sport athlete and a co-captain on the Wolverines football team. He hauled in four touchdowns and finished second on the team in receptions (35), yards (506) and yards per catch (14.5 yards). Swinson also swam and is currently playing lacrosse.
The National Football Foundation (NFF) is a non-profit organization founded in 1947 by Gen. Douglas MacArthur, former Army football coach Earl Blaik and journalist Grantland Rice. The National Capital Region Chapter was established in 2005.
The NFF chapter network, comprised of 120 chapters with 12,000 members, reviews the credentials of players from more than 4,800 high schools. Each chapter then analyzes the candidates for their academic achievement, athletic performance and leadership. From there, the chapters award 2,500 student-athletes with more than $800,000 in annual scholarships.
From this group of 2,500, a national committee selects five individuals for the recognition as NFF National High School Scholar-Athletes. The NFF National High School Scholar-Athlete Award was first awarded in 1991.
As the overall winner, Rodriguez will be forwarded to the East Region for consideration at the regional level.
Yorktown’s Matt Stotler was the East Region winner in 2007. The current Columbia University defensive end was honored during a December luncheon at the Waldorf-Astoria in New York City.